You’ve heard it a million times: “Hire slow, fire fast” (Chuck Sekeres). If we have all heard this simple adage before, why is it that so many companies take 16 weeks to let a bad hire go, when they knew the fit wasn’t right at 4 weeks? Perhaps the saying should read “Hire fast, fire fast”, with the focus on quickly hiring the right people for the job, ultimately saving you time and money.
The “Why” is straight forward: candidates in high demand are picked up quickly, as they represent the top talent in the industry. In fact, top talent is gone from the workforce in just 10 days, yet most companies have an average time to hire of 60 days. Add to that, according to the OECD, developed countries have the lowest unemployment rates in decades (3.9%) and job seekers with a higher level of education face lower unemployment rates than the national average. Finally, the cost of a vacant position is substantial, and objectively quantifiable. For example, a vacant spot for a software engineer, of 43 days, costs a given company approximately $26,000.
This is sound rationale for speeding up the hiring process, so let’s look at the “How”.
The words you choose to advertise your job really do matter, to fully inspire your new great hire. An accurate job description is the first way to filter through all potential applicants: it is descriptive, to the point, and clearly specifies 4 or 5 prominent tasks the role entails and intended goals to achieve. Ultimately you are attracting a candidate that will be a great fit for your company, so envision who this person is and appeal to them for a call to action. Also, keep your mind (and word choice) open. Use inclusive language that reflects diversity and gender equity. In fact, job listings with gender neutral wording get 42% more candidates.
Perhaps as important as choosing your words carefully is to ensure your ad is mobile friendly (optimized for mobile use). As mobile browsing accounts for over 50%of job search traffic, it is imperative that your ad is simple to navigate. Ease of use for the mobile job applicant, coupled with a succinct job description are most likely to yield the best results. Applications that can be filled out in less than 5 minutes attract more applicants. Avoid asking for information that can be found on a resume or online profile.
Ensuring your company has a strong social media presence is integral to speeding up the hiring process and attracting the passive candidate (not actively looking). The role of social media has pretty much replaced the job board of a decade ago (93%of recruiters use social media already). Moreover, job boards are more likely to attract the active candidate, and sadly 80% of those applicants won’t even be the right fit! Make the process of hiring fun and visually engaging so it will be something that potential candidates will want to talk about and share.
The idea is to pique the interest of the passive candidate, entice them to consider a change and create enthusiasm around your potential job prospect.
Finally, when you feel you have discovered a superstar candidate, don’t delay in making an offer. When you show you are decisive, you are sending a message that this person has a very important role to play for your team. When negotiating, it’s fair to discuss salary range and any other potential offerings: bonuses, vacation time allotment, moving budget, etc. Dr. John Sullivan espouses the virtues of 1 Day Hiring. While this may seem too rash for some, perhaps consider Paul English’s approach: The 7 Day Rule. He moves from find to interview, offer to acceptance, all in 7 days. Quicker movement is not only preferred by both candidates and those doing the hiring, it minimizes deliberation time, and/or time for your rainmaker to get picked up by another company.
Above all, consider the act of hiring an ongoing process, as opposed to an isolated event. This shift in mindset is from coincidence to continuous hiring or recruitment. Coincidence hiring is isolated to the time when there is a vacancy (i.e. backfilling a position), whereas continuous recruitment allows a company to build a talent pool before the need arises (i.e. hiring ahead of a need). A recent survey reported by CareerBuilder found that only 38% of employers continuously recruit, yet the majority of managers who do so report the practice lowered their real hiring costs, and that vacancies were filled rapidly.
Attracting the right people to your door, using an innovative medium and securing them quickly will speed up your recruitment process and develop a growing body of selected candidates for future use. A win-win-win scenario for everyone involved.
For nearly two decades PHM Search | Simply Technical has been helping Engineering and Technical clients to simplify, increase the speed and quality of recruiting difficult to impossible talent. If you feel your recruitment strategy could use a little boost, contact us to find out how we can make rapid work of finding your next great hire!